Celebrities have the power to sell almost everything, but it is still shocking that they are also motivating people to visit the plastic surgeon’s office—in droves. Data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons released today highlights some surprising trends—an almost 100% surge in butt augmentation in the past year, and a huge increase in minimally invasive, procedures, even in male patients. For all three trends, surgeons point to celebrities as a driving factor.
With stars like Khloe Kardashian and Iggy Azalea regularly showing off their assets on social media, Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez both singing about butts, and even posh fashion bible Vogue declaring it the Era of the Booty, it’s no wonder that women are coveting a curvier backside. What is surprising is that they are turning to surgery to get one. Last year, there was a 98% increase in butt implants, and a 44% increase in butt lifts. “Media, television, and celebrities like J.Lo and Kim Kardashian are driving the increase,” says Dr. Scott Glasberg, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “The butt is in.”
Like all surgery, butt augmentation, is not without its risks. “I do not do buttock implants because I find the risks are too high,” says Connecticut based plastic surgeon Dr. Rick Rosen. “Displacement of the implant and other problems, make me less inclined to do it.” Instead, Rosen prefers the Brazilian Butt Lift which involves taking fat from a patient’s stomach or thighs and injecting into the buttocks. “I have been seeing very nice results and minimal complications.” He notes that some women who have exercised away all the fat of their bodies are turning to implants for help.
Infographic on 2014 plastic surgery trends. Photo: Courtesy of American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Another big shift in plastic surgery is an increase in the number of male patients. The desire to look younger is something men are concerned with, too. “I think TV shows, including reality TV shows, are influencing men. They are in general trying to look better, get healthier, and joining in,” says Rosen. His male clients are coming for Botox, liposuction, and breast reduction. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, male breast reduction is a procedure that has increased 29% from 2000 to 2013.
“Just yesterday half of my patients were male,” explains dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldenberg. He notes a tight job market as another potential factor. “A lot of men who are older are competing for jobs with much younger men. So I’ve seen an increase in laser, Botox, a facial shaping, like fixing sagging along jowls and creating a nice straight angular jaw by injecting Radiesse.”
Another notable change with both men and women, is the shift in popularity from surgical procedures to non-surgical procedures. “People don’t want their friends or maybe even their partner to know that they have had work done,” says Goldenberg. “Instead they want to look better in small increments over time.” While a traditional facelift has patients looking bruised for weeks, with a year to fully heal, Goldenberg points to the Liquid Facelift as an alternative. It takes place over several visits and is customized to each patient with a combo of fillers and lasers. “Patients look younger and more refreshed,” he says, adding that cost is another motivator. “Fillers range from $800 to $1,600 a session and lasers around $1,000, but you still aren’t going to get close to the cost of a facelift which could be $20,000.”
Procedures like rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, facelifts, eyelifts, and lipo were all down last year. Meanwhile Botox, soft tissue fillers, and lasers were all up. It seems people are more comfortable popping into their doctor’s office during their lunch break than having to go under the knife. “The risk of a micro-invasive procedure is extremely low,” says Goldenberg. “With surgery there is an inherent risk that’s just not as high with Botox or lasers.”
The popularity of quickie procedures, may also be driven by shocking celebrity plastic surgery transformations. It turns out that people look to celebrities for what they want to do—as well as what they don’t. “People want to look natural,” says Goldenberg. “They are seeing that surgical procedures make people look different. With Renee Zellweger, and other celebrities who were really good looking to begin with, we have seen this drastic transformation. Why they would do that is unclear.” Rosen concurs, citing Zellweger as a cautionary example. “People don’t want to look like a different person—that scares people off.”